There’s is something viscerally gratifying about watching a hustler get hustled. It’s part of what makes “Ocean’s 11” and “The Italian Job” so good.
In this edition of The Lasso, we bring you a clip of a New York City chess hustler get put in his place by International Grandmaster Maurice Ashley.
The match starts off with the seasoned hustler talking smack.
“You don’t even look at the board, what is that?” he says, pointing a finger in Ashley’s face. Through repeated trash-talking, Ashley keeps his cool.
When the hustler, Wilson, realizes he’s met his match, he starts to get tricky, but Ashley has played too much park chess to get bamboozled like this. Ashley catches the hustler taking two knights with one pawn — in the same turn.
From that point, Wilson is on the defensive.
The trash-talker finally concedes, yelling “cut! cut!”
When they shake hands, someone in the crowd asks “are you rated?”
Another spectator knows what’s up, and reveals that Ashley is a grandmaster.
The best part of the video is how humbly Ashley defeats his opponent.
In the YouTube video description, Ashley says, “I was schooled by the best hustlers back in the day! This was actually in Washington Square Park where the late great Vinnie Livermore used to beat my [expletive] at that same table!”
Well played, sir.